I absolutely love spending time in my garden during the summer. It's like a small little oasis that can be turned into something magical.
But I find that every year the bugs get worse, and I can't enjoy sitting outside as much as I want to.
A lot of people know how to deal with ticks, but what about the other pests that hang around your garden? If I get any more mosquito bites it's going to look like I have the chicken pox! I hate using pesticides and chemicals in the garden, because I've got pets that love to sniff around and I don't want to harm them.
That's why I use these natural remedies for pest control so that I can enjoy my garden and keep the environment clean!
1. Plant Marigolds
If you have a problem with mosquitoes, you don't have to stock up on citronella candles or bug spray! All you have to do is plant some marigolds in your garden and you'll be mosquito-free.
Marigolds contain Pyrethrum, which is an element used in a lot of insect repellents. The smell is offensive to mosquitoes, so why not put a few potted marigolds on your patio to keep yourself (and your guests) bite-free?
Marigolds can also repel pests that like to eat tomato plants, so if you have a vegetable garden then you'll definitely want to add them to your garden.
2. White Oil Spray
White oil spray gets its name from the color it turns when you make it! Combine one cup of vegetable oil with a quarter cup of liquid soap. Shake the mixture until it turns white.
When you want to use this spray, you need to make sure you dilute it! Mix one tablespoon of the white oil with four cups of water. You can then use a spray bottle to distribute it all over your plants. Do this every five to seven days.
The oil coats soft-bodied insects, such as mites and aphids, while the soap helps the mixture stick to them.
3. Epsom Salt Spray
No, Epsom salts aren't just for bathing in! They are also an effective way to keep slugs and beetles out of your garden.
Dissolve one cup of salts in five gallons of water and movie it into a spray bottle. Spray the affected plants and the salts will start to burn the slugs and beetles.
If you don't want to make the spray, you can also just sprinkle the salts around the base of your plants every few weeks. Because Epsom salts are magnesium rich, they will help your plants increase their nutrient absorption.
4. Flour Your Flowers!
If you find that your biggest issue is snails, then flouring your flowers is in your best interest. Sprinkle it in your problems areas, and the little buggers will stay away! Flour is toxic to snails, among other insects, but is completely safe for humans.
5. Garlic Spray
This one will keep you safe against bugs AND vampires.
Crush five cloves of garlic and mix them into 17oz of water. Let this sit for at least six hours. Add a squeeze of dish soap to the mixture and run it through a strainer. Add a gallon of water into the mixture and then transfer this to a spray bottle.
Spray this mixture on your plants one or twice a week. Keep in mind, this will kill ALL insects it comes in contact with, so if there are any that you deem beneficial in your garden, do not spray in those areas.
If you are spraying this on your vegetable garden, make sure not to spray it too close to harvest time. The garlic mixture can affect the food flavors.
6. Citrus Spray
Annoying aphids can be the most destructive pests in your garden, but luckily the solution is right in your fruit bowl!
Bring a pint of water to a boil and add the zest of one lemon. Take the water off the heat and let it steep overnight. Strain the liquid in the morning and pour it in to a spray bottle.
Apply the solution to the top and underside of the leaves on the affected plants. It will smell great, and you'll be able to get rid of those aphids! Remember, though, that this mixture has to actually come in contact with the bugs for it be effective.
7. Essential Oils
Different essential oils can help to prevent specific pests from visiting your garden.
- Rosemary: flies, fleas, mosquitoes, insect larvae
- Peppermint: aphids, squash bugs, ants, spiders, beetles, fleas
- Thyme: chiggers, ticks, roaches, other biting insects
- Clove: flying insects
- Cedarwood and Pine: slugs and snails
You can also make an all-purpose insecticide using a teaspoon of vodka, 10 drops of lemon essential oil, 10 drops of eucalyptus oil, 10 drops of cedarwood oil and an ounce of water. Add this to a spray bottle and apply it to your garden!
Having pests in the garden can be annoying, but that doesn't mean you need to use harsh chemicals to get rid of them!